“No one told me…”

Friends, I have been ravished by David Whyte’s poem, which I read this morning with my breakfast, in Marion Woodman’s provocative book, Dancing in the Flames. I want to share it with you because it invites us, too, to dance in the flames. It captures “the essence of the journey,” as Marion says, and is especially poignant for me because writing has been such a major part of my own journey. Here it is:

No one told me
it would lead to this.
No one said
there would be secrets
I would not want to know.

No one told me about seeing.
seeing brought me loss and a darkness I could not hold.

No one told me about writing
or speaking.

Speaking and writing poetry
I unsheathed the sharp edge
of experience that led me here.
No one told me
it could not be put away.

I was told once, only
in a whisper,
‘The blade is so sharp-
It cuts together
-not apart’

This is no comfort.
My future is full of blood
from being blindfolded
hands outstretched,
feeling a way along its firm edge.

From FIRE IN THE EARTH, Many Rivers Press, 1992, page 51

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